(13 March 2015) – The French Commission on Sustainable Development has just published an interesting report entitled “Repenser les villes dans la société post-carbone” (Rethinking cities in the post-carbon society).
Studies dealing with climate and energy issues only rarely include a territorial approach. This report, which is directly inspired by an interdisciplinary research programme, helps refine this view by answering two key questions: What is the role of cities in transition? How can cities contribute to the creation of a post-carbon society?
The results of this work show three key emerging issues for the transition to a post-carbon society: first, the sustainability of our societies will be achieved with a combination of technical and social innovations; second, changing behaviour and lifestyles is an important component to ensure the resilience of our societies in the medium and long term; and finally, the overall consistency of the transition process must be sought, in terms of both time scales (short, medium, long term) and spatial scales (from the individual to the global level).
The research on which the report is based studies already implemented exemplary initiatives in cities around the world. It highlights a real need now to disseminate and replicate these initiatives to trigger a real transition.